A trip down memory lane -- What was your FIRST piece of academic writing? — R Voice

A trip down memory lane -- What was your FIRST piece of academic writing?

Andrea Hayward
Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

Hi everyone! Today, I want to encourage you all to take a trip down memory lane, and think about one of your firsts in academia. Now, this might not be like some of the usual firsts that are celebrated in academia (first journal publication, first peer reviewer experience, first grant approval, etc.) but I believe that it's an incredibly important milestone and I'm sure it involved a great deal of learning and has special meaning for each of you. 😊

Okay so here goes - What was your FIRST ever piece of academic writing? And how long ago was this?

Keen to hear all of your experiences and stories! 😃

Comments

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 13 ✭✭

    Hi, Andrea. It's been a while. My first academic writing was a seminar paper prepared for presentation in class of two Postgraduate students, in 1996! After my undergraduate study, I became a journalist. I was accustomed to journalistic writing styles. And I had thought it was the same with academic writing. When my Professor read through it, he tore it into pieces and told me to brace up for a new environment of academic writing styles. Since I was determined to adjust, I was able to read other academic papers and adjusted gradually as I presented the subsequent seminar papers. I had nowhere to hide because we were only two students, and it was a weekly presentation. It became more hectic for me in the second semester because I was the only graduate student in the department! I had to brace up and work harder to grasp the rudiments of academic writing. It was hard but greatly rewarding.

    One thing at a time

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 69 admin
  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 88 admin

    My first peer review experience...in 2017. This was for Learned Publishing - I distinctly recall how cold my fingers were while I was doing the peer review, feeling like an impostor and going about it very nervously. I took so much time to double check everything the authors had said, including references and citations.


  • Erin Owens
    Erin Owens Member Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    I'm not sure if I could recall my first piece of unpublished academic writing, which was probably in undergrad. But I can recall the first original research study that I undertook, my first year on the tenure track, which ended up being my second published scholarly article. Our academic library had launched a federated search tool, and we wanted to know what students thought of it and how user-friendly it really was. I collaborated with a colleague who was also in the first year on the tenure track. We looked at each other across the hall one day and said, "No one else is going to hold our hand and help us get there. Let's work together." I can recall sooooo many challenges about stumbling through the research and publishing process, but I can also remember the immense satisfaction we felt in our success. No other acceptance letter has ever felt quite the same!

    Korah, A., and Cassidy, E. D. (2010). Students and federated searching: A survey of use and satisfaction. Reference and User Services Quarterly 49(4), 325-332. doi:10.5860/rusq.49n4. https://shsu-ir.tdl.org/handle/20.500.11875/34

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    Ah @Jayashree Rajagopalan, I remember this! It was back when we were sitting next to each other at the office (in our dimly-lit lounge area lol). I also remember the nerves but I'm sure you did a fab job! 🤗

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin
    edited May 27

    @Omololu FAGBADEBO thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm sure that switching from a journalistic writing style to an academic one wasn't an easy feat. Although you seem to have taken this change in your stride and dealt very well with the situation, I'm so sorry to hear that your Professor wasn't more supportive of your efforts. Do you feel like the learning and transition to a new writing style would've been much smoother, had your Professor been a little more patient and supportive?

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 13 ✭✭

    Thank you, @Andrea Hayward, his action was a way of his training because I picked up the pieces, and went back for a revision. From there, he took me through the process with his detailed comments and suggestions for improvements. He supported my growth process and offered unqualified assistance afterward. Apparently, his reaction was a test of my humility and commitment. I won! And I benefitted immensely from his wealth of experience.@Jayashree Rajagopalan

    One thing at a time

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    @Omololu FAGBADEBO oh I understand the situation better now. This seems much more constructive than what I first thought. Thank you for the additonal context! 😊

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 13 ✭✭

    Yes, @Andrea Hayward. He eventually orchestrated my journey into the academic community.

    One thing at a time

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    Fantastic! Glad to hear this @Omololu FAGBADEBO 😊

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 88 admin

    @Erin Owens - Lovely share! "No one else is going to hold our hand and help us get there. Let's work together." That stood out - amazing that you started collaborating already and were clear about working together. I think it's really important for researchers to get that sort of clarity. And I can imagine how sweet the acceptance letter might have been! 😀

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 88 admin

    @Omololu FAGBADEBO - this sounds like such an enriching experience. And your positivity shines through as well. Also, it's amazing that you got a lot of support from him later as well. That shows you have great networking and relationship building skills too. Good stuff!

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 88 admin

    @Andrea Hayward - You're my forever cheerleader. Take a hug! I promise to be yours. And as I read your comment I am glad you were around for me to share this memory with.

  • Soumi Paul
    Soumi Paul Member Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    Excited to see so many responses, traveling down the lane, first of all.😊 Although, I could say my first academic writing is writing a postgrad dissertation. But, I love to recall the memory of my first manuscript writing as the significant one. It is a very precious milestone for me. Maybe cause it is meant for reaching a broader range of readers. Although publication date wise my first manuscript got published in the second place. But it was an amazing adrenaline rush to remember, writing one manuscript after another.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    @Soumi Paul thanks for sharing this with us! In my experience, most researchers describe their very first manuscript writing experience as a rather stressful and anxiety-ridden one. So this is a first for me. I'm very glad to see that you look back on your own experience quite fondly and as one that gave you an adrenaline rush. 🤩

  • Soumi Paul
    Soumi Paul Member Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    Yes, it is a very fond experience. I love all these positive academic stresses that move one forward than those unexpected chaoses, academic or non-academic, try to drag one down.

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